When Ra shall Sleep beneath the Gold Dunes

Kunai looked into the cold, grey eyes of the stranger. Without knowing why, his fingers jumped to his cheek. A few drops of blood had run the length of his countenance, and yet he failed to detect any wounds. In fact, even his old scars appeared to have healed.

The young slave placed his hands together and bent into a low bow.

‘O Horus, I am but your humble servant!’ he said in fast-spoken ancient Egyptian, lifting up the radiant crystal and placing it at Ashlar’s feet. ‘Forgive of me the taking of your Eye without your knowledge. Yet, seeing as you were unconscious for many sunsets on end, I—‘ he swallowed. ‘I have sold your Great Gold Mask for a fresh batch of slaves,’ he now indicated the hundred-or-so young lads bouncing large, floating bricks as they worked tirelessly at the mastaba downhill. ‘The Slave Master, Serq Neb-er-Tcher, was to finish the mighty tomb of King Sobek before the great Akhet bled black.’

Kunai pointed at the horizon. The sun was already preparing its slow descent into the cold nocturnal Underworld.

‘When Ra shall sleep beneath the gold dunes, Neb-er-Tcher’s head shall roll,’ said Kunai, bloody tears streaming across his fresh cheeks. ‘He shall die, on account of not completing the mastaba in time. Unless your Godliness shall be merciful and lend his Great Eye for a few more moments.’

The young slave gazed at the orderly, gravity-defying and blocks-flinging progress of his fellowmen. Their rhythmic movements formed a sort of mystical dance. A dance of floating brown stone and settling ashlars. A ballet of life.

‘O Horus, Greatest of all Gods, Mighty Elder who had fallen from the endless skies, I beg of you! Lend me your Eye for a mere moment longer!’

He mistakes me for Horus, the falcon-headed deity. One of the middlings’ earliest gods. Ashlar said to himself. Umbra of Kavi, where has Tylorria taken me? How further back in history have I fallen within?

The light of a thousand suns protruded from Ashlar’s fist. Well, since these inferior middlings mistook him for Horus, he might as well give them a little show. Ashlar closed his grey eyes and folded his fingers around the Æbe’trax shard.

A mask of solid gold moulded in the shape of a peregrine falcon materialized upon his features. Kunai’s mouth opened into an awestricken “O”.

To be continued...

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2019